He operated a Ponzi scheme out of El Paso; plead guilty

He operated a Ponzi scheme out of El Paso;  plead guilty

Not.- An El Paso man pleaded guilty in federal court here last week to five counts of wire fraud.

According to court documents, 27-year-old Abner Tinoco operated a Ponzi scheme through his business by soliciting millions of dollars in investment from clients and claiming he would invest their money.

in funds that deal in cryptocurrencies and foreign exchange markets.

Of approximately $9 million in investments deposited into his business accounts, Tinoco has spent more than half on personal expenses, including luxury cars, private jets, real estate and jewelry. Tinoco furthered the deception by providing some of the misappropriated funds as profit to its customers.

Tinoco faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison plus restitution and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count. A sentencing date has not yet been decided. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering United States sentencing guidelines and other legal factors.

In a separate civil case arising from the above scheme, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a civil consent decree against Tinoco and its company, imposing a prohibition related to trading activities. The Department of Justice will seek restitution for any additional victims of Tinoco’s plan.

United States Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane Romero and Chris Skillern are prosecuting the case.

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